7 Cold Cases = 1 Serial Killer

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I’m trying to make some sense of the recent news that seven unsolved cases from the 1980s and 90s have been handed over by the Montreal Police to the Surete du Quebec’s Cold Case unit.

What does this mean? Did the Montreal Police finally give up? Also this is the first instance I can ever remember of a Quebec police force actually acknowledging that a serial killer was responsible for crimes.

A lot of what was revealed yesterday is hardly new, or even surprising. In 1984-85 the disappearances of Wilton Lubin, Sebastien Metivier, Maurice Viens, and Denis Roux Bergervin sent the Montreal community into shock and panic. All but Metivier (who was never found) were sexually assaulted and severely beaten; the bodies dumped in the St Lawrence river, a vacant house in St Antoine sur Richelieu and a wooded area in Brossard respectively.  Almost immediately the Montreal community screamed “Serial Killer”, but the police did their usual job of pacification claiming “they wouldn’t rule out any possibilities”.

What IS interesting is that now cases from the early 90s have been added, and the original young, male cluster of victims is now book-ended  with two young female cases; Tammy Leakey who was beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled on March 12, 1981 and the 1992 murder of Marie-Eve Lariviere.

So according to the police,  they are hunting a  serial predator who was active for over a decade, and who appeared to have had no visible preference for race, young age (victims range from 4 to 12), culture (French and English victims) or gender.

The most common connectors were that the victims were young, were sexually assaulted and beaten severely on all parts of their bodies.

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Theresa Allore Investigation

T-051A follower has brought forward some questions I feel would be beneficial to share with everyone:

Q1: Do you have the feeling that the Quebec police or other police have lied to you ? Or
do you believe that police have always said the truth about that matter?

A1:  I have the feeling that the Quebec Police have their reasons for keeping the truth from me, and their reasons can be separated into three categories:

1. In the most positive sense, they have an interest in solving the case; and sharing too much information with me could potentially damage any ability to solve it.

2. In a negative sense, they may have reasons  for withholding information that could potentially embarrass them.

3. In the EXTREME NEGATIVE sense,  the police may be withholding information that could potentially compromise them, or even implicate them in the case: It has long been suggested that possibly the police were involved in Theresa’s death; either through their association with criminals, or perhaps because some of them were criminals themselves. The evidence here is anecdotal (hearsay), there is no documented evidence of this.

Q2: Is it true that someone has suggested to exhume her body….and why?

A2: The idea of exhuming my sister’s body has been suggested on several occasions. The reasons are to examine whether there might  still be trace DNA evidence that can only be examined by today’s standards. My family is ok with it, we have given our approval anytime any agency should wish to conduct it. One SQ officer wanted to do the exhumation examination, but he couldn’t get the SQ to pay for it. Alternatively we tried to raise money for a private laboratory to do an examination of the remains, but we could never get enough money together to do it, and no one would do it for free.

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10 year search for Maura Murray continues

mauraFascinating piece in Boston Magazine about the disappearance of Maura Murray. Some thoughts:

1. The piece’s documentation on the 10 year history of internet sleuthing is really interesting, and I am pretty sure Who Killed Theresa? was one of the first blogs of this nature. I know I started covering the story around 2004.

2. If theorists really do believe Maura went to Canada, specifically Sherbrooke, I wonder if they are aware there is a monastery there, Abbaye St. Benoit Du Lac, that might have provided refuge. In fact, my father knocked on their door 35 years ago when my sister went missing.

3. Maura’s father, Fred Murray and I have corresponded over the years. He may now feel she was abducted by “a local dirtbag”, but for a time he took the notion of her fleeing to Canada very seriously. I know because I put him in contact with some police investigators with the Quebec police.

4. I have also corresponded with James Renner. I respect James’ tenacity, but his comment that Fred Murray must be hiding something because, “In the history of missing women, what father has ever not wanted more publicity about their missing daughter?” is unfair, irresponsible, and simply not accurate. When my sister disappeared, authorities accused her of being everything from mentally disturbed, to a runaway, to a “lesbian” (heaven forbid). At that point, the very LAST thing my parents wanted was more publicity. They felt betrayed by the people they supposed were there to help them, and so they shut up. This is exactly what Fred has done, and I don’t blame him one bit.

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Quebec 1977: Who was The Bootlace Killer?

There was a serial killer operating not only in the Eastern Townships in the 1970s, but also in the Montreal region. Call him The Bootlace Killer. Louise Camirand, Helen Monast, Denise Bazinet and Theresa Allore were all most likely strangled by a thin ligature. Camirand with her bootlace, Monast and Bazinet most likely with their shoe laces, and my sister, Theresa Allore with her scarf (she was wearing Chinese slippers with no laces when she disappeared). Because some of these cases extend into the Montreal region, they call into question many other murder investigations from that era that remain unsolved, most notably the unsolved murder of Sharron Prior.

Let me begin by stating that I do not like unifying theories, especially those involving serial killers. But given the explosion in information exchanged due to the Internet in the last 10-years, the communication between the Victims’ families in these cases and the vast amount of cyber-sleuthing, and the fact that within these 10 years Quebec law enforcement has not solved any of these cases; the matter now requires some innovation, imagination and – above all else – simple curiosity. It is time for a fresh approach.

The original investigation

Louise Camirand: Bootlace clearly visable around  neck.

Louise Camirand: Bootlace clearly visable around neck.

When the theory of a serial predator roaming the Eastern Townships was first put forward ten years ago we were only talking about 3 cases; Theresa Allore, Manon Dube and Louise Camirand (for a quick refresher on those cases, check out the Wikipedia site here). What made this theory so compelling was the timing and geographic immediacy of all the crimes. As Geographic Profiler, Kim Rossmo summarized:

“Three murders of low-risk young women in a 19-month period, in such a tight geographic cluster, is highly suspicious, and not likely to be a chance occurrence.”

However, there were differences in some of the circumstances. Dube was a child found fully clothed and the exact cause of her death has never been determined. Allore was most likely strangled, presumably by her scarf . Louise Camirand was the least elusive case; she was clearly strangled by her boot lace, and her boots were never recovered.

 

 

 

Denise Bazinet

The case of Denise Bazinet, to my understanding, has been forgotten. Trawl the internet and you will find one reference to it: The Quebec journaliste, Jacques Guay apparently covered the case in 1977. The case has been sitting in the archives of Allo Police for 35 years where I recently discovered it.

Denise Bizanet: marks of strangulation clearly visable.

Denise Bizanet: marks of strangulation clearly visable.

Like many of the victims, 23-year-old Denise Bazinet was a low risk female. She worked as a cashier at Saint Hubert barbeque. On the night of her disappearance she was last seen at a local restaurant. She disappeared from Montreal in the Fall of 1977. Her semi-nude body was found on October 24th, 1977 at the side of autoroute 35 near the Chambly Saint-Luc exit, east of La Prairie. Bazinet had been sexually assaulted and strangled. She was wearing her jewelry; a watch, earrings, a ring on her finger. Some of her clothing was found strewn along the shoulder of the road, but some items were missing. She was wearing her right shoe – sport shoes with thick laces – but her left shoe was off and discarded along the road. The crime scene photo of Bazinet clearly shows the thin line along her neck where the mark of strangulation was made, presumably by something thin like her shoe lace. The crime scene is just under 10 miles from Chambly, Quebec where just 6 weeks earlier Helene Monast was found strangled.

 

Helene Monast

Crime scene of Helene Monast

Crime scene of Helene Monast

September 11, 1977. Again, a low risk female. She was out with friends the night she disappeared, last seen at a local restaurant, Chez Marius. She was found across the street in a public park along the Chambly canal. Clothing was discarded along side of the body… personal items; a pack of Export A cigarettes, a box of Chiclets. Some articles of clothing were missing, notably her shoes. Investigators asked her family at the time of the discovery whether Helene wore shoes with laces. When Helene’s sister saw the body she noticed a thin line along her neck from stragulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Camirand, Denise Bazinet, Helene Monast, and Theresa Allore. Low risk females. All found in wooded or rural settings. Articles of clothing missing. In the case of Camirand, Monast and Allore shoes are missing. Articles of clothing scattered next to the bodies. Jewelry left on most of the victims. All strangled, presumably by thin ligatures like a shoe lace or a scarf.

 

Crime scene of Denise Bizanet

Crime scene of Denise Bizanet

 

The addition of Bazinet and Monast to the original 3 cases of Camirand, Dube and Allore extends the geographic radius beyond the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the Montreal region. I believe it a worthy exercise to consider other unsolved homicides from the same era in the same region with similar victimologies. It has been close to 40 years and Quebec police have not been able to advance the resolution of any of these cases, it’s time for some fresh eyes.

 

 

 

 

 Jocelyne Houle

24 year old Jocelyne Houle disappeared from the Old Munich bar in downtown Montreal (corner of St. Denis and Dorchester / Rene Levesque) in April 1977, one month after Louis Camirand’s disappearance in Sherbrooke. Her body was found along the side of a rural road in Saint Calixte, North of Laval. She was sexually assaulted and beaten. Articles of clothing were scattered. Her shoes were removed. It is not known how she died, but her autopsy report should be examined to see if the coroner determined she was strangled.

Johanne Dorion

17 year old Johanne Dorion was last seen by a bus driver along 9th avenue in Fabreville, Laval on July 30th, 1977, six weeks before the Monast murder. She was found shortly thereafter five blocks away in a wooded area along the banks of Riviere des Mille Iles. The body was badly decomposed, but she had been stabbed. Note that both Houle and Dorion were nursing students, and Camirand worked at a dental office.

Katherine Hawkes

34 year old Hawkes was found in a wooded area next to the Val Royal CN train station on September 20th, 1977, 9 days after the Monast murder, and a month before the Bazinet murder. She was sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed. Her clothing was stacked about 12 feet from the body. Personal items were missing, including her purse.

————————————

Eight possibly related cases. Now let’s pause for a moment. Little of what I have proposed so far is original.   I lifted it.   In a November 6th, 1977 article on the Denise Bazinet murder, Allo Police implied that six of the cases might be related: Bazinet, Camirand, Houle, Dorion, Monast and Hawkes. But what Allo Police was suggesting was that given the timing – 6 murders in 8 months – the accelerated pace might imply a connection. I am suggesting this, but a further element. Time and place are certainly important; but the victimology is similar: low risk women, rural wooded sites, clothing scattered or missing, strangulation in most cases. And something Allo Police could not have known in the Fall of 1977; there would be / could be more cases, most notably Theresa Allore and Manon Dube. One further disclosure. The Camirand / Dube / Allore connection? That too was not an original idea. Allo Police suggested it by referencing each of the cases in their articles, each time a new body was discovered.

Can we go further?

Having gone this far, why stop there if there are other cold cases that fit the victimology? As I have said, the Quebec police don’t have any new ideas, so let’s consider the following:

Claudette Poirier

15 year old Claudette Poirier disappeared from Drummondville July 27, 1977. Later her bicycle was recovered from the side of a rural road in the area. Nearly 10 years later her bones were recovered in a local camp ground. We don’t know how she died.

Chantal Tremblay

17 year old Chantal Tremblay disappeared from Rosemere on July 29, 1977. Her body was recovered 8 months later in Terrebonne. She was murdered, but we don’t know how she died. Her autopsy report should be examined to see if the coroner determined she was strangled.

Unidentified

unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A murder victim between the ages of 18 and 25 was discovered along chemin de lac in Longeueil on April 2nd, 1977. And given the time and place of this discovery, this then leads back to the consideration of the murder of…

Sharron Prior

Crime scene of Sharron Prior

Crime scene of Sharron Prior

Of all these cases, Sharon Prior’s is the most widely known. Given the geography, timing and victimology her case should be considered in these matters. It’s been nearly 40 years, and the Longeueil Police have advanced nothing.

Consider this:

The unidentified victim from 1977 and Sharron Prior were both discovered along Chemin de Lac in Longeueil. Prior went missing from Montreal, and – like Bazinet, Tremblay and Houle – her body was found off the island in the “suburbs”. Prior was found in a wooded area. Her clothing was scattered around the crime scene. There are obstacles with making a connection; Prior is a 1975 case (does that go back too far?). She was savagely beaten; her chest was collapsed, a tooth was driven through her lip. Was she strangled? We don’t know.

But maybe Sharron Prior fought harder. Maybe she resisted her assault more than the others. If you look at the crime scene photos of Camirand, Monast and Prior, it is the same victimology; you think you are looking at the same crime scene.

Is there anything else?

Certainly. The question is, how far forward and backward are you willing to go? What else should be considered? Here are my  best / worst ideas:

 Alice Pare

14 year old Pare disappears from her school in Drummondville in February, 1971. Her body is found in April 1971 in a wooded area near Victoriaville. She had been strangled.

Tammy Leakey

The 12 year old goes missing from Point Saint Charles in Montreal blocks from where Sharron Prior disappeared in March 1981. Her body is discovered soon after in Dorval; raped, stabbed once, and strangled, possibly with a cord or lace. There was always criticism that Manon Dube didn’t fit the profile because she was too young (10 years old). I think the rape and murder of Leakey puts to rest any doubts about who a predator may prey upon.

The following cases are disappearances. They just vanished. We don’t know if they were runaways, or what happened to them:

Johanne Danserault: 16, disappeared from Fabreville, June 1977

Sylvie Doucet: 13, disappeared East Montreal, June 1977

Elizabeth Bodzy: 14, disappeared Laval, July 1977

The police need to look into these cases to determine if they ran away from home, if they were murdered or if they simply “vanished”.

Here is a GIF animation showing locations of disappearances, followed by where bodies were discovered. Worth a thousand words. In the 1970s, someone was moving bodies out of Sherbrooke, and off the island of Montreal:

gifmaker slow

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see more maps click on this link.

With the exception of Helene Monast, none of these cases are included in the Surete du Quebec’s  cold case file for special examination. Quebec law enforcement (SQ, SPVM,Longeueil, RCMP, Laval) all need to work together to consider the evidence in these cases. These cases need to be re-examined as a group of potentially linked sex murders. At the very least, physical evidence from the cases (if any of it still exists) should be re-examined using modern DNA testing, and all the evidence should be cross-referenced to look for potential patterns and links.

(All photos are the  property/used courtesy of Allo Police/Section Rouge Média Inc.)

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Christiane Sirois – Her Story

Absolutely fascinating Youtube video from Cold Cases Montreal about Christiane Sirois and her 28 year struggle to find justice in the disappearance of her eight-year-old  son, Sebastien Metivier:

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Heading back to Quebec

Long time no posts.  My apologies, but the Spring is my busy season at work and it’s hard for me to focus on anything but finance and budgets.

I will be in Quebec for a holiday in August and there are some things I am mulling over:

1. Should I include a stop-over in Sherbrooke? It seems pointless, nothing I can’t do on a computer that I can achieve there. But it’s been about 5 years since I passed through, maybe there would be some value in visiting the place.

2. Should I visit the Surete de Quebec when I’m in Montreal? Sort of the same issues with Sherbrooke; is there anything I can achieve? Pierre always said there is value in having face-time with the police, and I will be staying about 1/2 mile from their HQ. But also, I will be with my kids; I am supposed to be relaxing and enjoying time with them, not getting involved in this unholy mess again.

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Short Shafted: The Emmett Till Act

 


Luc Gregoire granted limited parole

The Surete du Quebec assured me this would never happen (I never believed them anyway). So here we are: Luc Gregoire has been granted limited parole allowing him to leave prison accompanied by a corrections officer.

If you click here you will see why I still consider Gregoire a good suspect in my sister’s case. This, despite being told by the SQ that he has been cleared (he passed a polygraph: big deal, those things can be gamed). 

If he is reformed, if he can be rehabilitated, I am happy for the man. So give him limited rights, trust but verify.  I can tell you that last year I wrote Luc asking him if he had any knowledge of Theresa’s death. He wrote me back and assured me that he was not involved, and had no knowledge of anyone who had anything to do with the affair. But what was he going to say? He knew conditional release was in the balance. You don’t confess to crimes under those circumstances.  We shall see where this leads.

 

 

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The recent controversy concerning Senator Boisvenu

pierreA lot of trending buzz in the media this week over the controversy surrounding Pierre Boisvenu’s spending subsidies and behaviors as a Canadian senator. As Pierre is a friend, colleague and mentor – we often refer to each other as “brother” -

allow me to offer some thoughts.

First, a little background. I apologize to those who have heard this a dozen times before on this website. I met Pierre 10-years-ago when we were cutting our teeth in the victims rights arena. Pierre’s daughter had been murdered in Sherbrooke, Quebec, I was investigating the very cold-case of my sister’s murder in the Eastern Townships, so we had a common affinity for the cause and the region. In 2003, we crashed the Federally sponsored victims conference, Moving Forward – Lessons Learned from Victims of Crime. We both laughed, bitterly at how under-represented victims were at that, the first national victims conference. We met for the first time on the eve of the conference in an Italian restaurant across the Ottawa river in Hull, Quebec. I was staying at the time with friends in the Gatineau, where Pierre currently keeps a residence. When I met Pierre I was struck by his energy, confidence and optimism; I couldn’t believe that this guy had lost a daughter within less than a year.

We became very close. He and his wife visited with my family in Chapel Hill, I have stayed at his condo in Sherbrooke. Within the past 10-years both our marriages disintegrated. I never knew the direct reasons for Pierre’s separation from Diane, but I am sure they are similar to mine; you maintain that shell of confidence, but beneath things start to crack.

Pierre went on to found AFPAD, and several other victims organizations, he championed legislative reform for victims, and fell under the umbrella influence of Harper conservatives.  From the point that he became a Canadian senator I largely lost touch with Pierre.

If I am to understand the residency regulations for Canadian politicians, the issue is where you live, and how much tax payers should subsidize that. I believe Pierre’s argument would be he is entitled to the stipend because he is technically still living in the condo in Sherbrooke. Technically, that is probably true. Though he keeps a place in Gatineau, he no doubt has lots of business back in Quebec. I have observed him dart back-and-forth between Ottawa and Sherbrooke in his car for years in the time before he was even a senator.  In a regular week I have watched him pepper the province rushing from one frontline victim function to the next (he doesn’t just travel the cooridors of power - Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City - the guy is in the weeds with victims, he gets everywhere). Is that still true? I have no knowledge. And anyway, he is a senator now, he serves all of Canada, so I would hope he was covering greater ground in other regions, but sources tell me his cause is still deeply entrenched in Quebec affairs.

On the issue of his relationship with a staff member. I agree strongly that your personal life is personal, you have no business in Mr. Boisvenu’s bedroom. But I also believe, whether it is inscribed in an official code of conduct or not, romantic relations with a subordinate crosses an ethical line.

A life of public service is full of temptation, and under constant scrutiny. I know. I work in local government, but only at the municipal level. The most I’ve been offered was free college basketball tickets. Not very tempting, but I declined. Alright, I’ll cop to being offered Canes tickets. More tempting (especially this evening), but still I declined.  I  know that the temptations and risks at the state and federal levels are greater, and Pierre has worked in that environment all his life (as a deputy minister for Quebec, and now at the senatorial level). All the more reason to be more vigilant.

As a public employee it is not enough to simply follow the rules, at all times you must avoid even the perception of impropriety. That’s a high bar of achievement, and maybe the strain of maintaining that standard leads some to fall.

I welcome all comments and opinions.

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UNC Chapel Hill: Physician, Heal Thyself!

unc

This week two local issues concerning criminal justice hit home for me in a very personal way.

On Tuesday, my ex-wife called me with a warning about our weekly child drop-off: “They’re on their way over, but be careful… we just got in an argument and the topic was rape.”

The subject was the recent allegations by students - current and former - at UNC Chapel Hill that the school administration has done little to protect victims of sexual assault, and indeed have gone to great lengths to cover up incidents of rape and sexual assault on campus.   My ex-wife argued that one student in question, who took it on face value that the school would comprehensively handle the investigation into her assault, was under some personal obligation to go to local law enforcement to report the incident. My daughters’ point was that the school was obliged to fully protect the student, victims of sexual assault are vulnerable, and the student was depending on the school to act in her best interest. I argued that I have been sitting on the fence about this issue because I really didn’t feel I had enough information to make a rational conclusion. My back-of-the-napkin take on it is that, by my count from what I read in the newspapers, there has been a problem with sexual violence on the UNC campus spanning at least a decade, but that the problem more than likely reached back much further than that; from my experience in these matters if UNC /Chapel Hill have a campus sexual violence problem,  the issue is systemic, and it is a very good thing that Federal authorities from the U.S. Department of Education are now being called in to review the matter.

This issue extends - at the very least - as far back to the rape and murder of Jeanne Clery in 1986 in a campus residence hall at Lehigh University. The case lead to the establishment of the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to annually disclose campus security policies and campus crime statistics. The Act is monitored by the U.S. Department of Education, and those institutions that fail to comply risk losing Federal student financial aid programs (yes, a VERY big deal).

It is no secret that in the Cleary era many schools have attempted to game the system by under-reporting campus crime stats (Jerry Sandusky / Penn State), and that is exactly the issue at UNC Chapel Hill, and why the stakes are so high in this matter. Do colleges fudge numbers? Of course they do. In my own personal experience, I don’t have to be a statistician to notice that a simple Google scan of newspaper archives for the words “Lennoxville” “sexual assault” “Campus” “Champlain college” will come up with exactly two hits; my sister’s case, and a case at  Bishop’s college that police later claimed didn’t take place. 40 years, and exactly two incidents of sexual assault? That’s quite a record.

The second thing that happened this week was that an article appear in the UNC campus newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel that was ostensibly a “where are we now?” piece on the 5th anniversary of the Eve Carson murder, but really was about blaming the City of Durham for all of Chapel Hill’s problems.  That the piece by student writer Chelsey Dulaney is incendiary and mis-informed is just me being polite.  And I strongly disagree with UNC senior associate dean, Chris Roush’s brush-off assessment that, because the paper is student-run, it is merely a “learning lab”: all the more reason for responsible editorial oversight, isn’t oversight at the crux of all of UNC Chapel Hill’s current problems?

As a resident of Chapel Hill and 15-year proud employee with the City of Durham my first reaction was to weigh into the fray, even though that action might have caused me some personal trauma (I rarely discuss where I work on this blog). Fortunately I didn’t have to. In this morning’s Herald Sun the Durham Police Chief and Mayor did such a fine job of defending the Bull City that my actions and words are not neccessary.   My observation - and this is supported with the hard data presented in the police chief’s crime report delivered to City Council on Monday, March 4th (a meeting at which I was present) - is that Part I Crime in Durham has been drastically reduced in the last 10-years while the population has doubled. This is thanks to a police force and a community that understands that a better quality of life is everybody’s business, and we all contribute to the solution. As Mayor Bell says, “are we satisfied? No I don’t think we will every be satisfied.”. But we are hopeful.

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T-05

Ce site est du meurtre non résolu de Theresa Allore qui a été trouvé dans Compton, Québec le 13 Avril, 1979.

Si vous avez n'importe quelles informations à propos de la mort de Theresa et à propos de l'investigation contactent son frère John Allore: johnallore(@)gmail(dot)com. Merci.

Translator

    English flagItalian flagChinese (Traditional) flagPortuguese flagGerman flagFrench flagSpanish flagJapanese flagArabic flagRussian flagDutch flagDanish flagFinnish flagSwedish flagNorwegian flagHebrew flagLatvian flag
This site is about the unsolved murder of Theresa Allore who died November 3, 1978 in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. If you have any information please contact her brother John Allore, johnallore(at)gmail (dot)com

Who Killed Theresa?

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    Notice.jpg
    Theresa Allore.jpg
    Louise Camirand.jpg

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